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Executive functioning (EF) helps build a strong foundation for school readiness, play development, and social participation in children. EF includes attention, inhibitory control, working memory, emotional regulation, planning, and problem solving

Currently, there are few ecologically valid assessments that measure EF in children. The purpose of this exploratory research study was to validate the Pre-school Kitchen Task Assessment (PKTA) as an ecological tool to assess EF in preschool age children. The PKTA utilizes an age appropriate art craft activity and a standardized scoring system to determine the level of assistance (cues) each child needs to complete each step of the craft activity. This study compared the scores from the PKTA to the scores from established neurological assessments, specifically, BRIEF-P (preschool version), the Forward and Backward Digit Span and the Dimensional Change Card Sort in 24 typically developing children ages 3 to 5 living in Marin County, California. No significant correlation was found between the results of the PKTA and the neurological assessments used in this study. However, it was confirmed that the PKTA was sensitive to age in months. As the PKTA is sensitive to age, researchers suggest that the PKTA may be a useful developmental tool in assessing important skills such as fine motor, organization, visual- perception, and judgment and safety in preschool age children.


Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor

Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR/L

Publication Date

Fall 1-2015


Sacramento, CA


Executive Function, preschool, assessment


Occupational Therapy

Examining the Validity of the Preschool Kitchen Task Assessment : An Exploratory Study